Updating My 72 Hour Kits

Problem

While preparing the blog post “How to Make a 72 Hour Kit” I pulled out my own kits to take some pictures. I realized the date on them was July 2006 so I decided I better rotate the food out since the recommendation is typically to rotate it every 6 months to a year. I opened the kits up and discovered that if we truly would have had an emergency these would not have been very pleasant to eat.

Top Ten Reasons I Needed to Rotate My 72 Hour Kit Foods:

10. Didn’t even have a kit for my youngest daughter (and she’s almost two!)
9. Stew expired July 2007.
8. Tang powder turned into crystallized lumps.
7. Beanie Weanies tasted rancid (yes I sampled them) and expired in 2007 as well.
6. Expired oatmeal although it didn’t taste too bad.
5. Raisins as hard as rock. Even my kids wouldn’t eat them.
4. Fruit roll-ups were smashed flat and REALLY sticky and gooey. I should NOT have let my kids attempt to eat them!
3. Expired noodle soup which also didn’t have any directions on the envelopes … hmmm.
2. Beef jerky was so hard that it killed my jaw to try to chew it and also had white powder on it that I am suspicious was mold. I hope I don’t get sick from tasting it!
1. The jolly ranchers melted all over the entire kit! Must have gotten overheated when we moved.

So not only would it have been gross in an emergency but now as I’m rotating it, the food is going to waste because it is so nasty and old.

Solution

Today I decided enough was enough. I took my kids to Walmart with my Printable Shopping List in hand. I bought enough stuff to make 6 kits (Julie likes me to get hers at the same time I’m doing mine) and it cost $49.50, so approximately $8.25 per kit. We didn’t need to purchase the stove, fuel pellets, matches, or spoons so to make a brand new kit would cost a few dollars extra. It took me about 30 minutes to empty out the old kits and put in the new food items. So I procrastinated for a whole year on something that took me less than 2 hours and about $30. I make myself mad sometimes.

Bonus

While I was redoing my kits I was finally able to make the “video instructions” I have been meaning to put together since I did the original 72 hour kit post. Hopefully this will help you out if you are working on your kits for the first time!

Do you have your 72 hour kits prepared yet? When is the last time YOU rotated your 72 hour kits? What is your goal for when to get them replaced (if you have been a slacker like us)?


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  • Kathleen

    Jodi and Julie, I posted a year ago, thank you for the wonderful ideas kit menu suggestions. I thought I’d share the latest:
    We made our 72 hour kits in Sept of 2011 as part of our homeschool unit on Emergency Preparedness. My 5 kids and I had great fun planning, shopping, and making the kits. Though we did determine that the food suggested was simply NOT enough to sustain our 14 year old boys for more than a few hours let alone 72! and the milk jugs could only fit two days worth of food, we adapted and made 48 hour kits. We made two for each of the family members and tucked them away on the bottom cabinet shelf. My plan was to use them each September on our annual beach camping trip. and then to remake them but we only made it to July 2012. WE NEEDED THEM! An unexpected summer storm with unusually high winds took out the power in our area….for days and days. The first two days I used up everything I could in the frig so it wouldnt go bad and cooked on the camp stove. Then I remembered our 48 hour emergency kits. The next day I made a big deal about using them; it was a moral booster…..until we opened them…and found them full of tiny sweet ants. After getting over the shock and the “ick” factor we discovered that most of the food was fine because it was individually wrapped. All survived the ant invasion except the hard candies. The wrappers were completely empty except for a few ants still inside eating the last of the butterscotches!! We laughed, took pictures and ate our oatmeal breakfast. I’ve sinced restocked and remade our kits. I got rid of the milk jugs though and used recycled square icecream buckets. They still have handles for carrying but seal tighter than the duct tape wrapped milk jugs. I’m very thankful we had the kits available since we were without power 4 1/2 days but I am also thankful because now my kids are on board when it comes to Emergency Preparedness!

  • angie

    Are you putting the milk jug into the bug out bags?

    • They are right next to the bags or in the bags if you have room would be fine

  • Kathleen

    I love the idea to pack it all into an easy carry jug!
    I am thinking of doing a homeschool mini-unit on emergency preparedness and I thought it would be fun to end the unit by having the kids make their own 72 hour emergency food kit. Then….test them and USE the kits as their “exam”.
    Could you please list the “menu” (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for the 72 hours using what is in the kit?
    Thanks

  • Very nice list! Thanks for sharing this.

  • Todd

    Add…
    Ipecac in case someone eats or drinks something potentially harmful & Hydrogen peroxide. Even small wounds can get infected, causing illness, loss of limb or even death.
    They should be in food storage. These items below are also very valid to have in food storage.

    Bug out bag. Try to take foods that do not take water to prepare, I see so many bug out
    bags with things like, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate & soups. The water should be for
    drinking & take vitamins & protein bars. I also take a bottle of fiber, not only is
    fiber needed but it also swells for a full feeling. I came across what is called
    Lifecaps. They are a capsule that has everything needed to survive without food with
    the exception of water. It is full of vitamins & minerals plus Iodine. Anyway, you take
    three of them a day & drink water. I can actually take enough food in one backpack to
    last 6 months because of these little Lifecaps, protein bars, fiber & water. I will run
    out of water in a week so I do carry a small filter & a couple of those straw water
    filters that filter the water as you suck.
    You do not always have the ability or time to heat water to make soup or oatmeal. Anyway,
    after I bought 25 bottles I found a coupon code & bought 75 bottles more. The coupon code
    is… healthcap It will get you 33% off. There are also sites that have those filter straws
    that are cheaper than any of the stores around here. (SLC) I think they are a really good
    idea along with some purification pills. I cannot remember the sites off the top of my head
    but you can Google for aquamira filter straw. Aquamira is the manufacture but do not buy
    off there site because I have found them for almost 1/2 what they want on their own site
    on other sites. Good luck, Gods speed & get serious about your bug out bag!

  • Todd

    Add…
    Ipecac in case someone eats or drinks something potentially harmful & Hydrogen peroxide. Even small wounds can get infected, causing illness, loss of limb or even death.
    They should be in food storage. These items below are also very valid to have in food storage.

    Bug out bag. Try to take foods that do not take water to prepare, I see so many bug out
    bags with things like, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate & soups. The water should be for
    drinking & take vitamins & protein bars. I also take a bottle of fiber, not only is
    fiber needed but it also swells for a full feeling. I came across what is called
    Lifecaps. They are a capsule that has everything needed to survive without food with
    the exception of water. It is full of vitamins & minerals plus Iodine. Anyway, you take
    three of them a day & drink water. I can actually take enough food in one backpack to
    last 6 months because of these little Lifecaps, protein bars, fiber & water. I will run
    out of water in a week so I do carry a small filter & a couple of those straw water
    filters that filter the water as you suck.
    You do not always have the ability or time to heat water to make soup or oatmeal. Anyway,
    after I bought 25 bottles I found a coupon code & bought 75 bottles more. The coupon code
    is… healthcap It will get you 33% off. There are also sites that have those filter straws
    that are cheaper than any of the stores around here. (SLC) I think they are a really good
    idea along with some purification pills. I cannot remember the sites off the top of my head
    but you can Google for aquamira filter straw. Aquamira is the manufacture but do not buy
    off there site because I have found them for almost 1/2 what they want on their own site
    on other sites. Good luck, Gods speed & get serious about your bug out bag!

  • Todd

    Add…
    Ipecac in case someone eats or drinks something potentially harmful & Hydrogen peroxide. Even small wounds can get infected, causing illness, loss of limb or even death.
    They should be in food storage. These items below are also very valid to have in food storage.

    Bug out bag. Try to take foods that do not take water to prepare, I see so many bug out
    bags with things like, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate & soups. The water should be for
    drinking & take vitamins & protein bars. I also take a bottle of fiber, not only is
    fiber needed but it also swells for a full feeling. I came across what is called
    Lifecaps. They are a capsule that has everything needed to survive without food with
    the exception of water. It is full of vitamins & minerals plus Iodine. Anyway, you take
    three of them a day & drink water. I can actually take enough food in one backpack to
    last 6 months because of these little Lifecaps, protein bars, fiber & water. I will run
    out of water in a week so I do carry a small filter & a couple of those straw water
    filters that filter the water as you suck.
    You do not always have the ability or time to heat water to make soup or oatmeal. Anyway,
    after I bought 25 bottles I found a coupon code & bought 75 bottles more. The coupon code
    is… healthcap It will get you 33% off. There are also sites that have those filter straws
    that are cheaper than any of the stores around here. (SLC) I think they are a really good
    idea along with some purification pills. I cannot remember the sites off the top of my head
    but you can Google for aquamira filter straw. Aquamira is the manufacture but do not buy
    off there site because I have found them for almost 1/2 what they want on their own site
    on other sites. Good luck, Gods speed & get serious about your bug out bag!

  • Todd

    Add…
    Ipecac in case someone eats or drinks something potentially harmful & Hydrogen peroxide. Even small wounds can get infected, causing illness, loss of limb or even death.
    They should be in food storage. These items below are also very valid to have in food storage.

    Bug out bag. Try to take foods that do not take water to prepare, I see so many bug out
    bags with things like, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate & soups. The water should be for
    drinking & take vitamins & protein bars. I also take a bottle of fiber, not only is
    fiber needed but it also swells for a full feeling. I came across what is called
    Lifecaps. They are a capsule that has everything needed to survive without food with
    the exception of water. It is full of vitamins & minerals plus Iodine. Anyway, you take
    three of them a day & drink water. I can actually take enough food in one backpack to
    last 6 months because of these little Lifecaps, protein bars, fiber & water. I will run
    out of water in a week so I do carry a small filter & a couple of those straw water
    filters that filter the water as you suck.
    You do not always have the ability or time to heat water to make soup or oatmeal. Anyway,
    after I bought 25 bottles I found a coupon code & bought 75 bottles more. The coupon code
    is… healthcap It will get you 33% off. There are also sites that have those filter straws
    that are cheaper than any of the stores around here. (SLC) I think they are a really good
    idea along with some purification pills. I cannot remember the sites off the top of my head
    but you can Google for aquamira filter straw. Aquamira is the manufacture but do not buy
    off there site because I have found them for almost 1/2 what they want on their own site
    on other sites. Good luck, Gods speed & get serious about your bug out bag!

  • Todd

    Add…
    Ipecac in case someone eats or drinks something potentially harmful & Hydrogen peroxide. Even small wounds can get infected, causing illness, loss of limb or even death.
    They should be in food storage. These items below are also very valid to have in food storage.

    Bug out bag. Try to take foods that do not take water to prepare, I see so many bug out
    bags with things like, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate & soups. The water should be for
    drinking & take vitamins & protein bars. I also take a bottle of fiber, not only is
    fiber needed but it also swells for a full feeling. I came across what is called
    Lifecaps. They are a capsule that has everything needed to survive without food with
    the exception of water. It is full of vitamins & minerals plus Iodine. Anyway, you take
    three of them a day & drink water. I can actually take enough food in one backpack to
    last 6 months because of these little Lifecaps, protein bars, fiber & water. I will run
    out of water in a week so I do carry a small filter & a couple of those straw water
    filters that filter the water as you suck.
    You do not always have the ability or time to heat water to make soup or oatmeal. Anyway,
    after I bought 25 bottles I found a coupon code & bought 75 bottles more. The coupon code
    is… healthcap It will get you 33% off. There are also sites that have those filter straws
    that are cheaper than any of the stores around here. (SLC) I think they are a really good
    idea along with some purification pills. I cannot remember the sites off the top of my head
    but you can Google for aquamira filter straw. Aquamira is the manufacture but do not buy
    off there site because I have found them for almost 1/2 what they want on their own site
    on other sites. Good luck, Gods speed & get serious about your bug out bag!

  • Todd

    Add…
    Ipecac in case someone eats or drinks something potentially harmful & Hydrogen peroxide. Even small wounds can get infected, causing illness, loss of limb or even death.
    They should be in food storage. These items below are also very valid to have in food storage.

    Bug out bag. Try to take foods that do not take water to prepare, I see so many bug out
    bags with things like, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate & soups. The water should be for
    drinking & take vitamins & protein bars. I also take a bottle of fiber, not only is
    fiber needed but it also swells for a full feeling. I came across what is called
    Lifecaps. They are a capsule that has everything needed to survive without food with
    the exception of water. It is full of vitamins & minerals plus Iodine. Anyway, you take
    three of them a day & drink water. I can actually take enough food in one backpack to
    last 6 months because of these little Lifecaps, protein bars, fiber & water. I will run
    out of water in a week so I do carry a small filter & a couple of those straw water
    filters that filter the water as you suck.
    You do not always have the ability or time to heat water to make soup or oatmeal. Anyway,
    after I bought 25 bottles I found a coupon code & bought 75 bottles more. The coupon code
    is… healthcap It will get you 33% off. There are also sites that have those filter straws
    that are cheaper than any of the stores around here. (SLC) I think they are a really good
    idea along with some purification pills. I cannot remember the sites off the top of my head
    but you can Google for aquamira filter straw. Aquamira is the manufacture but do not buy
    off there site because I have found them for almost 1/2 what they want on their own site
    on other sites. Good luck, Gods speed & get serious about your bug out bag!

  • Todd

    Add…
    Ipecac in case someone eats or drinks something potentially harmful & Hydrogen peroxide. Even small wounds can get infected, causing illness, loss of limb or even death.
    They should be in food storage. These items below are also very valid to have in food storage.

    Bug out bag. Try to take foods that do not take water to prepare, I see so many bug out
    bags with things like, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate & soups. The water should be for
    drinking & take vitamins & protein bars. I also take a bottle of fiber, not only is
    fiber needed but it also swells for a full feeling. I came across what is called
    Lifecaps. They are a capsule that has everything needed to survive without food with
    the exception of water. It is full of vitamins & minerals plus Iodine. Anyway, you take
    three of them a day & drink water. I can actually take enough food in one backpack to
    last 6 months because of these little Lifecaps, protein bars, fiber & water. I will run
    out of water in a week so I do carry a small filter & a couple of those straw water
    filters that filter the water as you suck.
    You do not always have the ability or time to heat water to make soup or oatmeal. Anyway,
    after I bought 25 bottles I found a coupon code & bought 75 bottles more. The coupon code
    is… healthcap It will get you 33% off. There are also sites that have those filter straws
    that are cheaper than any of the stores around here. (SLC) I think they are a really good
    idea along with some purification pills. I cannot remember the sites off the top of my head
    but you can Google for aquamira filter straw. Aquamira is the manufacture but do not buy
    off there site because I have found them for almost 1/2 what they want on their own site
    on other sites. Good luck, Gods speed & get serious about your bug out bag!

  • Todd

    Add…
    Ipecac in case someone eats or drinks something potentially harmful & Hydrogen peroxide. Even small wounds can get infected, causing illness, loss of limb or even death.
    They should be in food storage. These items below are also very valid to have in food storage.

    Bug out bag. Try to take foods that do not take water to prepare, I see so many bug out
    bags with things like, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate & soups. The water should be for
    drinking & take vitamins & protein bars. I also take a bottle of fiber, not only is
    fiber needed but it also swells for a full feeling. I came across what is called
    Lifecaps. They are a capsule that has everything needed to survive without food with
    the exception of water. It is full of vitamins & minerals plus Iodine. Anyway, you take
    three of them a day & drink water. I can actually take enough food in one backpack to
    last 6 months because of these little Lifecaps, protein bars, fiber & water. I will run
    out of water in a week so I do carry a small filter & a couple of those straw water
    filters that filter the water as you suck.
    You do not always have the ability or time to heat water to make soup or oatmeal. Anyway,
    after I bought 25 bottles I found a coupon code & bought 75 bottles more. The coupon code
    is… healthcap It will get you 33% off. There are also sites that have those filter straws
    that are cheaper than any of the stores around here. (SLC) I think they are a really good
    idea along with some purification pills. I cannot remember the sites off the top of my head
    but you can Google for aquamira filter straw. Aquamira is the manufacture but do not buy
    off there site because I have found them for almost 1/2 what they want on their own site
    on other sites. Good luck, Gods speed & get serious about your bug out bag!

  • Karen Young

    I’m the same as Kimberly. It makes it so much easier to remember when to re-do our kit. We open ours up every General Conference and the kids LOVE it. They gobble it up within 2 days. I’m sure in an emergency though we could make it last 3 days… I hope. 🙂

  • Karen Young

    I’m the same as Kimberly. It makes it so much easier to remember when to re-do our kit. We open ours up every General Conference and the kids LOVE it. They gobble it up within 2 days. I’m sure in an emergency though we could make it last 3 days… I hope. 🙂

  • I change my 72 hr. kits every General Conference. That way all the food is still good to use and don’t go to waste. My kids use this food to snack on during conference sessions. We even use the mini lasagna/spaghetti meals to eat for lunch. The rest of the food gets used in school lunches. My kids get really excited when we open our 72 hr. kits.

  • I change my 72 hr. kits every General Conference. That way all the food is still good to use and don’t go to waste. My kids use this food to snack on during conference sessions. We even use the mini lasagna/spaghetti meals to eat for lunch. The rest of the food gets used in school lunches. My kids get really excited when we open our 72 hr. kits.

  • Jodi

    Thanks for letting us know Jen. I had put the link in wrong (oops). It should be fixed now.

  • Jodi

    Thanks for letting us know Jen. I had put the link in wrong (oops). It should be fixed now.

  • jen

    I can’t seem to get the link to the printable shopping list to work. Any suggestions?

  • jen

    I can’t seem to get the link to the printable shopping list to work. Any suggestions?

  • I use the October general conference as a reminder to rotate my 72-hour kits. I have also been adding a new kit every year until I have enough for every family member old enough to carry one. Mine are in backpacks and are kinda heavy due to the water and juice in them.

  • I use the October general conference as a reminder to rotate my 72-hour kits. I have also been adding a new kit every year until I have enough for every family member old enough to carry one. Mine are in backpacks and are kinda heavy due to the water and juice in them.